News Release

Presidential Candidates Address Criminal Justice Issues

Washington, DC (January 14, 2004) -- In mid-October, 2003, The Champion, monthly magazine of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, sent a list of questions to the nine declared Democratic candidates for president and the Bush-Cheney campaign. The candidates were asked for their views on the death penalty, DNA evidence, indigent defense services, judicial discretion, the war on terrorism versus civil liberties, and white collar/corporate crime.

NACDL received responses from five of the Democratic candidates: retired U.S. Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark, former Vermont governor Dr. Howard Dean, Sens. John Edwards (NC), John Kerry (MA) and Joseph Lieberman (CT) all responded by the magazine's press deadline in late December. Reps. Richard Gephardt (MO) and Dennis Kucinich (OH), and candidates Carol Mosely-Braun and the Rev. Al Sharpton did not respond, nor did the Bush-Cheney committee.

The same questions were sent to all candidates, and their unedited responses will appear in the January/February double issue of The Champion, which is scheduled to be published next week.

According to various estimates, crime costs Americans between $400 billion and $600 billion dollars per year. Thus, the candidates positions are of interest and importance not just to participants in the criminal justice system -- defendants and defense counsel, victims and witnesses, prosecutors, judges, and correctional and parole officers -- but to every voter.

A PDF file of the article is now available to the public at:

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NACDL Communications Department

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.